Katie Stephens, a 1998 Chillicothe High School graduate, delivered the keynote address for the 26th annual Chillicothe High School Academic Awards Banquet Tuesday evening at the Jenkins Expo Center.

Katie Stephens, a 1998 Chillicothe High School graduate, delivered the keynote address for the 26th annual Chillicothe High School Academic Awards Banquet Tuesday evening at the Jenkins Expo Center. In all, 186 students received academic letter awards, meaning that these students earned a B+ average (3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale) during the previous school year. There were 51 seniors earning the award, 67 juniors and 68 sophomores. Dr. Roger Barnes, superintendent of schools, welcomed the guests and introduced Stephens as the guest speaker. Stephens, the daughter of Reid and Natalie Stephens, of Chillicothe, was involved in FFA and played basketball and tennis in high school. After graduating from CHS, she attended William Jewell College where she earned her bachelor’s degree in mathematics. In 2006, she earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from Mizzou. She received her master’s degree in nursing leadership from the University of San Francisco this year and currently is working on her doctorate in nursing practice in executive leadership where she is focusing her study on organizational structure and nursing empowerment and engagement. Over the last several years Stephens has worked in various settings, including a burn/trauma ICU, cardiology/step down, and hospice care. She has spent much of her nursing career in large academic medical centers such as Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis and Stanford Health Care in Palo Alto, Calif., where she has resided for the last seven years. She is currently the program manager for nursing excellence at Stanford Health Care in Palto Alto, California. Stephens, who began her post-high education in mathematics, told the students gathered for the banquet that it was “OK” if they are uncertain about their career plans. She explained that 20 years ago she had no thoughts about becoming a registered nurse; 10 years ago she had no thoughts about moving to California; five years ago, she had not thought about moving into management; and one year ago, the job she currently has did not exist. “You don’t have to have it all figured out,” she told the students. She encouraged them to relax but to not become complacent. “You still have to work hard,” she said. Making decisions and making a change can be both exciting and terrifying at the same time, she said, reflecting upon the emotions she felt when she decided to take the step and pursue nursing school. That step led to a pay cut while working full-time and going through an aggressive nursing program. But, she said she was glad she stuck with it as her education and experience has opened doors professionally. All the while, she said, she has worked hard, kept a good attitude and has been open to change and new opportunities. The evening concluded with the presentation of awards by CHS Principal Brian Sherrow and school counselors Buffy Tipton and Ellen Tsikoyak. Academic Award Recipients The following Chillicothe High School students received academic letter awards by earning a B+ (3.3 GPA on a 4.0 scale) during the previous school year. The number of asterisks following the name indicate the number of times the student has received the award. Class of 2018 Muhammad Ahmad***, Isaiah Boon***, Elena Boon***, Jessica Brade***, Jonathan Burk***, Austin Case***, Katelyn Clariday***, Liberty Cox***, Elitza Crouch***, Jylian Davis***, Alexei Dickerson***, Gracie Ellis***, Trista Emmons**, Brynlee Faulkner***, Morgan Grable***, Madison Graham***, Walker Graves***, Lauren Gregory***, Emilee Haley***, Benjamin Hayen***, Mykel Heese***, Nathan Hoel***, Hunter Horton**, Harlie Jones***, Molly Jones***, Morgan Lowery*, Rylee Miller***, Hayden Montgomery***, Cameron Moore***, Kirsten Moore***, Jackson Pauley***, Marlene Peters*, Lenna Peterson***, McKenna Poling***, Rebecca Richardon***, Kimberlee Roney***, Brittney Rudd*, Gavin Seeley***, Anna Shackelford*, Brett Shaffer***, Hannah Sherrow***, Jessica Shipp***, Claire Shipp***, Jensen Simmer***, Samara Smyer*, Zoe Souders*, Madison Spath***, Trace Staton***, Ruthie Vinson***, Jackson Willard***, Gunnar Young*** Class of 2019 Libby Adkins**, Matthew Anthony**, Taylor Ashbrook**, Sydney Baxter**, Carly Beebe**, Tyler Black**, Hannah Bowyer**, Hunter Bradley**, Christen Brown**, Jazamen Campbell*, Jacob Chapman**, Eli Chastain*, Ethan Corbin*, Porsha Cordray**, Caitlyn Cothern**, Carleigh Crawford**, Madeline Criner**, Hannah Cypert**, Jadon Daley**, Devin Dowell**, Jennifer Durbin**, Madison Eller**, James Fainter**, Addilynn Ficken**, Riley Foyt**, Laney Gaston**, Haylea Gaunt**, Sarah Graves**, Zackary Greer*, Hannah Haakonstad**, Alexis Hargrave**, Tucker Hathcock**, Macey Hicks**, Jordan Hopper**, Sara Hopper**, Emma Hurtgen**, Colten Johnson**, Cody Kennebeck**, Kennedie Kieffer**, Eric Kleinschmidt**, Christian Koehly**, Madeline Lamp**, Kylee Larson**, Kaylee Lewis**, Tyler Maasdam**, Lydia Martin**, Shania Martin**, Kayla McElwee**, Jenna Moffet**, Jessica Moore*, Bryonna Murphy**, Dylan Nuckols**, Chloe Peery**, Margaret Pfaff**, James Phillips**, Bailey Pithan**, Michael Posey**, Lauren Price**, Gracy Reeter**, Michael Riddle**, Elli Ross**, Jessica Sanchez**, McKayla Shady**, Malloree Summers**, Kendra Toot**, Catey Trout**, Hannah Wickersham**; Class of 2020 Logan Asher*, Emma Bernskoetter*, Westley Brandsgaard*, Macy Cavanah*, Callaway Chapman*, Skylar Chapman*, Elijah Cook*, Kennedy Corzette*, Lainie Cowan*, Dezeray Crawford*, Olivia Cross*, Noah Crowe*, Christina De Jesus*, Austin Dewey*, Ariel Doyle*, Cameron Dudley*, Madyson Eskew*, Jonathan Evans*, Macy Gutshall*, Montana Hall*, Jordan Hibner*, Hayden Hill*, Dylan Holder*, Luke Hopper*, Kimberly Horn*, Reese Jazenboski*, Hunter Keithley*, Sarah Keller*, William Kieffer*, Kiley Kirkpatrick*, Ali Kromeich*, Olivia Lamp*, Kole Larkins*, Casandra Leach*, Tessa Mace*, Danielle Madison*, Josie Martin*, Alayna Mason*, Grahm Mayers*, Audrey Meservey*, Samuel Meservey*, Austin Minnis*, Drew Minnis*, Kaleb Mullikin*, Brendon Nelson*, Sarah Nibarger*, Charles Pfaff*, Montana Plattner*, Kimberly Pool*, Rachel Pool*, Isaak Rasche*, Josie Reeter*, Bradley Riley*, Kimber Roberts*, Gavin Sampsel*, Brenden Sharp*, Alexandria Shipp*, Emma Shipp*, Emma Smith*, Magy Thomas*, Mary Thompson*, Jenna Trager*, Kamden Ward*, Isaac Washburn*, Dawson Wheeler*, Madelyn Wilford*, Jaden Winder*, Caroline Witt*.